Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer DVR Dump: The River 1.05: "Peaches"

“I’m not sure even Emmet knows about Emmet anymore.”

I liked this episode of “The River” because even though it sort of fit the typical “creepy Amazon supernatural thing of the week” mold, this episode was unique because it focused more on Lena. We hadn’t really learned a lot about her yet. This episode gave us a chance to learn a little more about her childhood and her relationship with her dad. We even got to meet her dad (spoiler alert). The name of the episode comes from Lena’s childhood nickname. While the creepy happening of the week was a bit underdeveloped, I did appreciate the time spent on character development. I think the best television shows tend to have a pretty even mix of character development and plot. This episode was the first to really make me wish “The River” had continued beyond eight episodes. I think the characters on the show are just better developed in general than many other procedural-type shows.

Instead of the standard “Undiscovered Country” clip, we instead open this episode with Lena acting quite grumpy because the rest of the crew is so focused on finding Emmet at the expense of thinking of her dad. This is interspersed with footage of Lena and her dad, Russ, back in “Undiscovered Country” heyday. They’re playing a game of poker together, and it’s quite cute. Meanwhile, the Magus is moving very slow in the dark, and Tess and Lincoln are frustrated by this. Tess orders everyone on watch so she can speed up the ship (they can make sure she doesn’t bump into anything. While both taking watch from the bow of the ship, Lena and Jonas have a little moment. Jonas tells Lena how her dad was awesome and he learned so much from him, and Lena’s all smitten because nobody else on the Magus has said a word about her dad. Lincoln sees this, and he’s understandably peeved that Jonas is moving in on his woman. Lincoln doesn’t have much time to be pissy, though. It looks like another ship is on a collision course with the Magus, and they aren’t adjusting their course. The ship seems to collide with the Magus, but then it disappears.

The collision has caused some serious damage to the Magus. The transmission gears are stripped, and they can’t be fixed. The Magus is in desperate need of replacement parts. Tess starts very calmly calling Mayday (like that has ever helped at any point ever in this series), but no one is responding. Meanwhile, Jonas takes Lena to the edit bay and shows her footage of her dad. Not only is it footage of Russ, it’s footage of Russ leaving a message specifically for Lena. Lena, understandably, is super grateful to Jonas for showing her this, and Lincoln, also (sort of) understandably, gets even more pissy (he saw what was happening from out in the hallway. Lincoln is on a mission to continue the quest to find Emmet, so he decrees that they’ll continue by Zodiac and on foot if necessary. Just as this plan is about to swing into action, a ship called the Exodus answer’s the Magus’ mayday. The crew of the Exodus seem like sort of the Greenpeace of the rain forest. They’re job is environmental protection. They also happen to have the spare parts the Magus needs to get up and running again.

Out on the deck, Jonas tries asking Lena about her relationship with Lincoln. Lena’s not biting, though. The best she does in confirm there is nothing romantic currently happening. She tries to distract him by telling him to film the Exodus. Jonas does so, and he thinks he sees someone moving on the ship. This is curious, because the crew of the Exodus is supposed to be on board the Magus for dinner. While everyone is eating, one of the Exodus men leaves to use the rest room. While he’s gone, a woman from the Exodus burns herself, and Kurt goes to get her a bandage. On his way to get the bandage, he sees the Exodus guy sneaking around. Kurt watches the monitor, and he sees the Exodus guy say that the plan for the Exodus crew is to capture the Magus crew. Meanwhile, Jonas and Lena stupidly decide to go over to the Exodus to figure out who Jonas saw. When they arrive on the Exodus, they even more stupidly break horror movie rule number one and decide to investigate a strange noise. Lena and Jonas open a mysterious door, and inside is none other than Lena’s dad, Russ.

Back on the Magus, Kurt confronts the Exodus captain about what he heard (the whole capturing the Magus crew thing). Kurt doesn’t like the captain’s answer, so he shoots him. That doesn’t solve the problem, though. The captain comes back to life and hurls Kurt across the room. Over on the Exodus, Russ tells Lena and Jonas that the Exodus is a ghost ship. The crew are all dead, but they must find people to take their place on the Exodus before they can move on and be at peace. That explains how the captain was able to recover from being shot and toss Kurt. To the Exodus crew, the Magus crew seem like prime replacement prospects. The seriousness of the threat is apparent on the Magus, where the woman from the Exodus crew successfully lures Tess over to the Exodus with promises of a more accurate map of the area of the Amazon they are traveling through.

To his credit, Lincoln realizes something is wrong pretty quickly. He and Clark plan to use the Zodiac to go after the Exodus. As they’re getting ready to leave, Lena is trying to use the camera to broadcast a message to the edit bay, but Lincoln and Clark don’t notice. So they leave the Magus not entirely sure where to go to find the missing crew. Jahel, when walking past the edit bay on an errand, however, does see Lena’s message, and she radio’s Lincoln with instructions on how to find the Exodus and also the suggestion to bring flares. Just as Clark and Lincoln arrive at the Exodus, Kurt manages to break out of the holding cell. A huge fight ensues, and the flares Clark and Lincoln brought win it for the Magus folks. Apparently burning is the only way to destroy the Exodus ghosts. Lena obviously wants Russ to return to the Magus with the rest of the crew, but there’s one final twist. Russ has been turned into a ghost. Lena doesn’t want to leave him, but when the fire spreads and starts to engulf Russ, Lincoln has to drag her off the boat and back on to the Zodiac. Then he cradles her as she sobs. Take that Jonas!

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